Jonathan Bernier mistakenly praises Mandela's hockey skills - NHL on CBC Sports - Hockey news, opinion, scores, stats, standings

Jonathan Bernier mistakenly praises Mandela's hockey skills
Thought Raptors tribute was for 'known athlete'

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier created quite a stir when he mistakenly praised Nelson Mandela's accomplishments "on and off the ice" at Friday's Raptors event.

The Toronto Raptors paid tribute to Mandela on the anniversary of his death. Unfortunately, Bernier wasn't aware of the honouree's significance beyond his apparent ice hockey career prior to attending the event. The Toronto Star reported that the 26-year-old Laval native apologized for his mistake.

Im embarrassed, said Bernier. I didnt mean to offend him, his legacy. I got flustered with the red carpet and I was nervous. I think everyone makes mistakes and that was me that night.

A video of his answer has resurfaced after being removed by the Raptors on Friday due to criticism from fans.